nflation, inclusion and immigration are set to be among key topics of discussion as representatives from across the global tech industry gather at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre for London Tech Week.
It’s the first time the conference has been held in-person since 2019 as the pandemic forced the conference online in 2020. Over 20,000 delegates are expected to attend.
Russ Shaw, founding partner of London Tech Week, told the Standard: “The international theme is taking a bigger step up in 2022.
“We’ve got 350 tech leaders from Singapore, Australia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan so we can build really good international connections from London.”
It follows a bumper year for London tech in 2021 with IPOs from Trustpilot, Darktrace, Wise and Tinybuild. Tech accounted for almost 40% of the £16.8 billion raised on the London Stock Exchange last year.
“Let’s not put London alongside the other European tech hubs, we’re a global player — we’re consistently ranked in the top five globally alongside Silicon Valley, New York and Boston,” Shaw said.
“We’re operating at a very high level now and our challenge is to sustain that.”
With inflation at a 40-year high alongside rising prospects of a recession, head of venture & growth banking at Silicon Valley Bank, Sonya Sonya Iovieno, said turbulent economic conditions may provide an opportunity for tech startups to help save firms money.
“We see really strong tailwinds for the tech and innovation sector,” she said.
“In a downturn large companies look to tech firms to deliver efficiencies – you may see some of those firms need to pivot slightly.”
However, according to Shaw, tech innovation risks being stifled by a skills shortage in the capital.
“Our biggest challenge is we don’t have enough talent in London and across the UK to fill the jobs that firms need,” Shaw said.
“There are 150,000 tech vacancies in the UK today, which gives you a sense of the magnititue of the problem we have to deal with.”
“We have to focus on diversity and inclusion and we also have to focus on immigration policy.”
Here’s a selection of some the top speakers appearing during the week.